Monday, March 31, 2008

Pay It Forward.

This post was again inspired by Oprah's Big Give on Sunday Night. I don't know the contestants names, but one of them was speaking with another man who was going through some pretty hard times. His life was rough and yet he still had a smile, and add to that a positive attitude! He said something like - Even when things seem really bad, you have to remember that there is always someone worse off than you. Even when it seems that you have nothing, you can still give.

This really touched me. Usually people that are down on their luck and have hit a rough patch are down on life and others around them. Here was a man who thought that he could still make a positive contribution to society even though he was economically challenged. If only more people thought this way, what a wonderful world it would indeed be. If people stopped being jealous of other's bank accounts and possessions. If there was no more 'keeping up with the Jones'. " If everyone woke up every day and did something little to change some one's life for the better. It doesn't have to be monetary - most of the world cannot give like Oprah. Just something, anything, to make another human smile. Is that really too much to ask?

I have to say that I was also inspried by Mel at Stirrup Queens and her Secret Ode Day. Think of how you happy you are when someone lets you out in traffic. When someone asks if they can return your cart for you at the grocery store. When the cashier informs you that you overpaid. When someone tells you what a wonderful friend you are. When you get an e-mail from an old friend who says they miss your company. When you get an unexpected card or phone call from a loved one, just because.

So, do something and start a cycle of paying it forward. I love the commercial where people see good deeds and it inspires them to in turn do good deeds. Can you imagine if the wave traveled around the world? Think of all the smiles and the faith that would be renewed in people. Again, nothing big is expected. If you cannot think of something, think of what you would like to be on the receiving end of. Then think of someone who could also benefit from it.

Go ahead, you can do it - and the bonus it that you will smile too. It feels good to help others and to brighten some one's day. It is okay to feel joy when you are spreading it. I think Phoebe and Joey proved that there is no such thing as a self-less good deed. So, get out there and don't feel guilty if it makes you feel good!

Hold a door for a mom with a stroller. Let someone out in front of you in traffic. Help someone load a huge cart of groceries into their car. Got to the library and donate books. Write a letter to a loved one and tell them how much you love them. Pay the toll for the car behind you. Tell a friend how nice they look. Give the person in line ahead of you exact change when they are looking everywhere for a penny. Tell an employee and the manager of a store if you notice them doing a great job. Make dinner for someone going through a rough time.

You get the idea, right? And if you wait, it will come back to you many times over! Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting on my blog! I appreciate it! I read the comments and also try to check out every one's blogs too. I usually get around to commenting too! Thanks again! See it isn't hard!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tattle Tale with a Twist

Sean came running upstairs crying. I wasn't too worried because it wasn't his injured cry, it was his sad and heartbroken cry. After a while you get pretty good at figuring out cries - even in bigger kids. He had big crocodile tears running down his cheeks. The boo-boo lip was out in full force. I gave him a hug and pulled him up into my lap.

Sean - Mom, Brian was mean to me.
Me -What did he do?
Sean - He told me something that wasn't nice.
Me - What did he say to you?
Sean - He called me a not nice name.
Me - What name?

Sean runs out and yells down the steps to Brian

Sean - Brian, What is that name that you called me?
Brian - I don't remember.
Sean - But I need to tell Mommy on you!
Brian - Sean, leave me alone!
Sean - Brian, just tell me!
Brian - I called you a goofball. okay!

It was all I could do to keep from laughing. I mean, Sean asking Brian what he did so that he could tattle on him. Too much. His feelings must not have been hurt that badly- he couldn't even remember what Brian had said to him! Sean comes running back to me.

Sean - Brian called me a goofball.
Me - Is that so bad that you had to cry?
Sean -Well, he gave me a mean look too!
Me - (holding back a smile) Brian, don't call Sean names.
Brian - Okay.
Sean - What about the mean looks?
Me - (no longer able to hold back a smile) No mean looks either.
Brian - Okay, Mom.
Sean - Thanks, Mom.

I guess all Sean wanted was someone to hear him and to validate his feelings. It was too funny! I still cannot believe that he asked Brian what he name he called him!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

No Fair!

Let me start by saying that Brian gave the boys pancakes this morning, so they were by no means starving. Brian and Sean each had a big stack and then played on the Wii. I was upstairs feeding and changing Justin. A little bit later Brian left for work and Sean wanted me to cut up some watermelon. I have no idea why, but for some reason my husband has a fear of cutting up fruit. When there is a watermelon or cantaloupe to be sliced his response is always, "Go ask Mom." Makes me crazy! I wonder if there is a real fruit cutting up phobia.

Back to this morning. I cut up the watermelon and filled two bowls. I even remembered to put Sean's in the Sponge Bob bowl and Brian's in a plain bowl. Crisis avoided, point one for Mom and it isn't even 9:30 am yet! I set the bowls, and forks, at the table and called the boys. Sean came running in and immediately gobbled up his share. Brian came a bit later and decided he wasn't in the mood for watermelon anymore.

When Sean heard that Brian didn't want his, he quickly glanced up at me. He didn't even have to ask; his eyes were pleading for the second bowl. I told him he could have it and it disappeared in a matter of seconds! Of course, when Brian found out that Sean was eating his watermelon, he wanted it back. I should have seen that one coming. Knowing that it was all a game, I told Brian that he would have to wait a bit for more. I know. Mean Mom, but he has to learn to live with the consequences of his decisions. Plus, he didn't really change his mind, he didn't really want watermelon, he just didn't want Sean to have it.

A little bit later he did come to me and politely ask for some watermelon. I got out a bowl and began to cut up a slice. He came into the kitchen and said that he wanted a big piece, not cut up in a bowl. I asked him to wait a minute and finished cutting the piece I was working on. He proceeded to whine and throw a fit. Next came more whining and dropping to the floor rolling around, added with more whining. I didn't even tell him no. I just asked him to wait. There was still a whole half left. It is not like I had finished cutting the last of it into bite size pieces.

I stopped what I was doing and just stared at him. When he finished his tantrum, he told me I was no fair. That is his favorite thing to say lately. No fair, I almost had to laugh . No fair we live in a nice house. No fair he has tons of toys and video games. No fair he goes to a great school. No fair he has two younger brothers. No fair our fridge and pantry are full of good food. No fair he has 400 channels to watch on TV. No fair he has plenty of clothes and warm winter coats. No fair he gets great birthday parties. No fair he has heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. No fair he has a warm bed to sleep in. The list could go on and on.

Obviously, at age seven, I do not expect him to understand. But as an adult I find humor in the fact that so much is 'not fair' to kids. I understand that his definition of 'no fair' is totally age appropriate. As an adult you realize that most of the time your childhood worries have no place in the adult world. Of course, there are always exceptions. Some kids do have to face and deal with adult problems. I wish that were never the case. It saddens me when kids have to grow up too quickly.

Okay, Brian was whining on and on, trying to plead his case for a big slice. He tells me he saw the pictures of when I let Sean eat a big piece. He was in school - bad Mom for making him go to school! The funny thing is that he did all this and wasted all of this energy for nothing. I was going to let him eat a big piece. He just needed to be patient for a few seconds. He really needs to work on paience - and self-control. But after the way he decided to act, he got nothing. No big piece and no little pieces either. He was devastated and threw himself on the floor again. This did little more than earn him a time-out and confirm my decision.

Grab Your Tissues

Here is a video on Holt International's Web Site. It shows families that have traveled to China meeting their babies for the first time. I cried and cried. Tears of joy for the adoptive parents and tears of sadness for the people that have cared for them for so many months and years. It makes me really long for the day when I can first hold our daughter in my arms! And just think I am probably at least a year away from it and still emotional. So click on the link and be sure to have plenty of tissues at your disposal!

A Make-Over

Yep, you are in the right place. I just figured I had to figure out how to customize my blog a little. After much staring at the same old Blogger templates, I decided to try to learn how to do it. I downloaded the background from a free site called Pyzam. It was simple to get the layout changed and the instructions were easy to follow. The big problem is that all of the items on my side bar did not transfer. So, I had to redo the codes for all my links and counters, and add all of my blog links etc. I did open a word document and paste all the codes with titles there first. It was a little easier this way and I didn't have to worry about losing any information,

The header with the boys' pictures I made in Photo Shop. Again, not easy but I soon got the hang of it. The thing that took me the longest was the sizing. In case anyone has Photo Shop and wants to attempt this my header is 650 pixels X 400 pixels. If you do 660 pixels which is the width of the blog, it hangs over the edge slightly. I just saved the image as a jpeg file in My Pictures. I then edited my blog header and uploaded the image in place of the title and blog description! It took a few days of playing around with different sizes and colors, but I think that it turned out pretty well. Hope you enjoy the change of scenery.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Justin Has Wheels

Justin has quickly mastered walking with help. He has been cruising for a while, but things with wheels were beyond his ability until that last few weeks. Brian and Sean are so excited that he can do this by himself. We all clap and cheer for him and he gets these big proud smiles from ear to ear! He is so happy to be independantly walking around by himself - he laughs and squeals with delight! Go Justin, Go! I honestly have no idea how my tiny infant turned into an almost one-year old! Sigh...

getting started
cheered on by Brian!

watch me go!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Home Study Packet Sent!

We finally got through our latest installment of adoption paper work and Fed.Ex'd our home study packet to our adoption agency today! They will get it tomorrow morning, and you can be sure I will be checking the tracking number to see that it gets there! I had my physical last week and got my blood work done today. Brian has his physical tonight and then will get his blood work done on Friday. I hope that the doctor can mail out the last of the forms quickly. These forms have to be mailed by the doctor, so that is why they were not included in our packet. It would be great if the adoption agency can get started on what they do have and then finish when they get the medical forms.

We should hear if everything is in order (or not), within a few weeks. It is crazy how I am not in a huge rush, but it will drive me crazy every time the phone rings for the next two weeks! I just hope that everything goes smoothly and there are no unexpected delays. After the paper work has been approved, we will be invoiced for our home study. When payment is received, we will get a call from our social worker to set up the home study interview meetings.

To adopt a child from another country, she needs an immigration visa. The social worker will write her report about the home study meetings, which we will need to file to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). Our adoption agency will submit the home study and we file form I-600A along copies of our birth and marriages certificates for advance processing of the visa petition. We will be fingerprinted the day we submit our forms, or be given an appointment date. It will usually take 60-90 days for FBI clearance of the fingerprints. Of course there are also fees for filing this paper work and for being fingerprinted.

There are many more steps until we bring our daughter home, but this will give you an idea of what we can expect in the next few months. We also have to go to a few more PIP (parents in process) meetings before we can accept a referral. I know our wait will be hard, but will go quickly since we are so busy with the boys! Our adoption agency has bulletin boards and it is so exciting to hear about families getting their referrals and travel calls! It will be so wonderful when I can share our happy referral and travel days too!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Day

I decided that since Saturday was such a sad day that I would make today's post about something happy. I love it when I have days that renew my faith in the human race. There are so many rude and disrespectful people and some days I feel like all I do is run into them. Then there are days when my smiles are returned by strangers and people go out of their way to be nice. I wish there were more days like this.

So, I went out to run a few errands the other night; I had a few retail stores to get to and then the grocery store on the way home. I went into the first store to make a return. To my surprise, the customer service woman was happy and pleasant. She smiled and asked for my receipt - she even said please and thank you. This is not my regular experience with retail workers. They usually look at me like I have ruined their day by coming into the store to make them work!

After the return I had a few things to pick up. I was browsing through the aisles and had three different sales people come up to me and ask it they could help me find something. Again a rarity for me. I started to get a little worried. Did I look like a shoplifter with my big diaper bag purse and no kids? Did they just have customer service training day? I wanted to believe that this store was just filled with happy people who were glad to have a job. But this world in which we live has taught me differently. And that is a shame.

The cashier at check-out was very warm and friendly too. I was buying diapers and baby food along with some older kids clothing for Brian and Sean. She asked, "Are you buying for your kids?" and I said, "Yes." Then she asked, "How many kids do you have?" I told her, "Three boys." She said, "Wow you must have your hands full!" I replied, "Yes, but I wouldn't trade if for the world." She smiled and said, "Your boys are lucky to have a nice person as a Mom." Now, this girl had no idea who I was or what I was about. I guess she doesn't always get met with smiles and polite conversation. Sad, very sad.

After I left, I went to the grocery store. As I was walking in, one of the kids collecting carts asked me if I needed one. He stopped what he was doing and walked a cart over to me. He could not have been more than fifteen and I just wanted to pinch his cheeks! As rare as it is to find adults that are pleasant at their jobs, I find it even harder to find teenagers willing to go out of their way to help. I took a cart, thanked him, and headed into the store.

I hit the produce aisle and as I was about to put some sweet potatoes into a bag, an employee walked over to me. He said he was about to put out fresh potatoes if I wanted to wait a minute. I thanked him and decided to wait. Again, not necessary - he could have just let me buy last weeks potatoes! I had another employee help me get something off a high shelf. He was more than happy to help and didn't even let out one sigh. The check-out clerk was great too!

I drove home with a smile on my face. I wish I could say the same every time I went out. But there are always the disgruntled workers and the rude drivers out there lurking and waiting to sadden my day. If only every one would keep the lessons learned as a child and remember to just be nice. It really is not that hard. To me, it seems as if being mean and grumpy takes so much more energy. I remember something about it taking more muscles to frown than it does to smile. So, smile away, I say!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yoga Me Happy

My friend D invited me to go with her to a Yoga class tonight. The studio was so beautiful and relaxing. The walls were like a dark red/deep orange and the hardwood floors and woodwork were perfect. The lighting was low and the pictures were great! I have never done Yoga before.

Well, I did a few classes of prenatal Yoga when I was pregnant with Brian but it was more of a light stretching and relaxation class than a work out. Let me tell you, the class tonight was relaxing but definitely a work out. It is now a few hours later and the muscles in my upper arms and chest are still tingling and so are the tops of my thighs. Those same muscles feel totally exhausted and weak. It is a very strange feeling.

I made an attempt at a downward and an upward dog, I worshiped the sun, got myself into a plank and a plow, almost got stuck in the camel, and concentrated on my deep breathing. There was plenty of hip and hamstring stretching too! It was the best workout that I have had in a long time. I will have to get used to how warm it is in the studio. Maybe it was from all the poses where my head was upside down, but there were times when I was a bit lightheaded and really hot. It quickly went away and all was good!

After the hard poses were finished, there was a nice relaxation time. The instructor came around gently massaged our arms, hands, and neck with a lavender oil while we were laying on our backs. It was heaven and just about put me to sleep. I wish she could come over and do that every night before I went to bed.

I know that I am going to be sore tomorrow! But I am a little weird in that I love muscle soreness; it is a reminder that I worked my body and as it repairs itself it is getting stronger and healthier! I think that I am hooked on Yoga! And the bonus is the peaceful 'yoga high' that you take with you!

Oh, and the instructor passed out cards with words of wisdom on them. Mine said something about overcoming grief and loss and learning from it to live a better and fuller life. That was spot on for me over the last few days. Loss has certainly taught me to slow down and to savor each and every day.

the Yoga studio

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter 2008!

We had a busy weekend - egg dying and cooking and the Easter Bunny visiting! The boys had so much fun dying eggs - Sean did almost all of his yellow! He kept getting his fingers in the cups and then wiping them on his clothes. I kept reminding him and he kept forgetting! Before he ruined his clothes, I told him to take them off. He dyed eggs in his underwear for the remainder of the time! And he was happy - he loves to take his clothes off! Crazy boy!

They all slept in until a little after 8:00 am - so that was a great Easter present to me! Sean had Mike&Ikes for breakfast and Brian ate the head off of his chocolate bunny! After I nursed Justin, I made pancakes. I think Sean had about ten of them! They all love pancakes - even Justin! The Bunny brought some candy, a few video games,a d some Phillies jerseys! Brian was busy playing the Wii games and Sean decided to check out his basket while he was occupied elsewhere! He didn't find anything that really interested him and soon went back to his basket! Justin got some bunny cheese crackers and bunny graham crackers. He also got a baby basketball hoop and a Winnie the Pooh ball. the ball was by far his favorite and he played with it all day.

love that face

waiting patientlybig smilestrying not to drop itcheese!another yellow eggsporting the briefsI think this pose is in the male DNAFamily eggsmore eggs

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Sad Day Remembered

Today is the three year anniversary of miscarriage number two. It is the only D&C I have had to bear. It was a hard day but I was surprisingly relatively calm at the hospital. My surgery was supposed to beat 10:00 am but I got bumped and rescheduled to 2:30 pm. I wasn't allowed to eat or drink before so I was understandably hungry and thirsty by 2:30 pm! Brian went with me to the hospital. Luckily, I was able to go to the outpatient surgery wing of the hospital and didn't have to go to Labor and Delivery like I have heard some people have to do. Seeing pregnant women and hearing babies cry, I don’t think that I could have taken that.

I got my IV fluids started and was trying hard to hold back the tears. The slow to rise betas were not definitive enough for me. I kept waiting for someone to say that they were wrong. I wanted somebody to come rushing in to tell me that it was all a mistake and the baby was fine. But no one ever came.

The ultra sound right before my D&C showed nothing different than before. My doctor was and is so great. Even though he probably knew that nothing had changed in the last few days, he still did an ultra sound that morning for my piece of mind. I am still grateful for that act of compassion; I needed that last bit of reassurance to move on with the surgery. I was a little over nine weeks; there would have definitely been a baby and a heartbeat by now. But there was no heartbeat and no baby, just an empty sac were they both should have been.

The doctor came and talked to me and I had to sign some forms. Shortly after, the anesthesiologist came and asked me a long list of questions. There was a bit of a hold up because I had taken a sip of water that morning at about 8:00 am so I could swallow my thyroid medication. I am not sure how a sip of water about seven hours earlier could have mattered, but they made a big deal out of it. I certainly don't want to aspirate into my lungs but it is not like I had a cheese burger and fries!

After convincing them that it was indeed just a tiny sip, I was finally wheeled into the operating room. They put the good sleepy meds in my IV and I was soon feeling drowsy. A few nurses walked and in and started to make themselves busy around the room. I remember how cold it was and how strong the 'hospital smell' was. Then a nurse came into my view and was talking sweetly to me. She asked if I was okay and if I needed another blanket or anything. I told her a nice lunch would be great and she smiled. As she walked away I saw that she was noticeably pregnant and probably well into her third trimester. A small tear ran down my cheek. My heart ached.

I understand that pregnant women have a right to work. There were pregnant nurses and ultra sound techs at my fertility clinic at different times. It is not that I was unable to be happy for them, but it was so hard to see when I was trying to get pregnant. It was even harder to look at while dealing with a miscarriage. I was not mad and certainly didn’t fault the nurse, but I wish they could have found someone else to assist with my D&C.

A nice big belly was the last thing I needed to witness that day. It stung and burned like a slap across the face and reminded me again of what I would be missing. If you know me, then you know that I didn't say anything, but I wanted to. I just didn't want to make her uncomfortable and she was so nice to me. I have been blessed or cursed, depending on how you look at it, with worrying about how others are feeling too much. I don't know her story and it is not like she was making rude comments. It is just that it made my gut wrenching sadness hurt still more.

I was soon fast asleep and woke up in recovery. I was allowed to have some ice chips and the nurse said everything went fine. The doctor came in a short time later and verified that there were no problems. Well, except for the fact that I lost my baby. I was wheeled into another area after about half an hour and Brian was there waiting for me. Another nurse brought me some ginger ale and crackers - not quite the meal I had in mind. But I don’t think I could have eaten anything more since I was so nauseous. I had to wait a bit longer and then was ready to go home.

I was sore and uncomfortable but the physical pain and cramping were really not too bad. I stayed in bed the rest of the day and most of the next day. Partly to recover from the surgery and partly to grieve. I was very confused at this time too. I had conceived Brian and Sean with minimal work and this was my second miscarriage in five months.

The first one was on October 8, 2004 and happened naturally. My betas only go to about 40 and then started to drop. This second one was harder because my betas had been okay, not great but acceptable. And everything was drawn out with so much waiting. Wait for the next ultra sound and wait for the next beta level. Then wait until we can find time in the schedule for the D&C. After that it was wait a few months until I could try to get pregnant again!

My betas went down quickly and I was able to get back to the doctor within a few months. Unfortunately, I didn't have any luck staying pregnant until much later. Many miscarriages and negative pregnancy tests came to follow in the next seventeen months. In the midst of treatments it was all very hard to comprehend, but now that I look back, I would go through it all again. I think this is only because I know now that Justin was at the end of the long road.

I hear quite often that so many women who are struggling with infertility wish that they knew when and if they would get pregnant. If someone had told me when I started that my baby would be born in May of 2007, everything would have been so much easier to endure and accept. I think that most women going through infertility and loss would agree. If there was a definite end point, most would be happy to go through just about anything. But sadly, that is not the case and there are no guarantees.

The other hard part is that after years and years of unsuccessful infertility treatments, many couples have spent a small fortune. They reach the point when they cannot emotionally, physically, or financially continue with treatments. Some decide the best thing for them is to remain childless and some pursue adoption. The problem is that most of them have spent all the money available to them, and then some, on treatments. And at the present time, adoption is no longer financially an option for them. So, then there is more waiting to save money and pay off the infertility debts. The whole idea of placing a price tag on parenthood really makes me want to vomit!


I was downloading some pictures that I took today of Justin and realized that I forgot about the pictures of Brian playing basketball last week! So, here they are - they were taken last Saturday. It was his last day of clinic and he even got to play a short game at the end. He played great and was a real go-getter.

I am still amazed at how different his personality is on and off the court/field. He is so confident and outgoing when he plays sports. He puts his heart into and never gives up - even when he is exhausted. If he would only put that philosophy toward his homework! We were so prod of him for playing his best - and scoring a basket! Way to go Brian! As I said before, baseball and flag football are fast approaching!

more practice
dribblingpreparing to shootshootinglooking like the pros watching his shotthe basket is good!
Brian loves Dwane Wade

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Scoop

I promised to post to update what the family is up to. So, here it is!

Brian Sr. has started a new job. For those that don't know, he is a golf professional. He is the PGA Head Professional at a local private golf course. No, he does not play on TV! He manages the daily operations at the course, gives lessons, and runs tournaments and outings. He did enjoy his time off this winter with the boys. Justin really bonded to him and it was nice for Brian to be able to spend some time with him and Brian Jr. and Sean. That said, he was also ready to return to the 'real world'!

There is not much new to report with me. I went to the doctor's today to have my physical for our adoption. It is the last thing I needed to complete before we submit our home study packet. I have to also get blood work done, but I had to have been fasting for at least twelve hours. Since I ate breakfast, the blood work will have to wait. Brian has to wait until next week for his appointment anyway; so no big rush. I have been trying to lose the baby weight on my own and did lose a few pounds. But, I was getting frustrated and decided to rejoin Weight Watchers. My Mom actually is the one that talked me into going; it is nice because we go together and support each other. I have been going for four weeks now and have lost 15.8 lbs! I am so excited and motivated to continue. Summer is not too far away!

Brian Jr. got a great report card last week! He doesn't get grades yet, but still got perfect scores in all areas. He is reading and writing above grade level and having no problems with the math program. He starts baseball and flag football in the next few weeks. To say that he is excited is putting it mildly. He finished his basketball clinic last week. The clinic ended with a mini game and he was the only first grader to score a basket. Brian loves to play outside and most days after school he can be found playing kickball - usually with older kids!

Sean was having a few troubles in school with some kids, but things have worked out. His teachers and I had some talks with him and he is doing much better. It is not good that he was misbehaving but it is good that he was remorseful and decided to make better choices. As long as he and Brian and Justin are able to learn from their mistakes then I will be happy. I don't expect any of them to be perfect, especially since I am far from it. He is a little sad that he is not old enough to play organized sports yet. Hopefully he will have fun watching Brian and playing along on the sidelines. Sean is very into Easter this year and asking me daily when the Easter Bunny is coming.

Justin is changing so much with each day! He is walking like crazy behind his truck and activity walker. Well, he more waddles with stiff legs than walks, but it is so cute. He has started becoming really frustrated at times and makes it well known when he is unhappy. He also gets his feelings hurt now. When I tell him no, he looks at me with a sad face and slowly lowers his head! He loves to play and wrestle with his brothers. He crawls so quickly that I have to be really careful - he gets form one side of the room to the other in a few seconds. I love to hear him "talk" more and more each day. Justin is such a joy!

Well, I think that is about it for the family. I hope that catches you up on our lives. I guess the next big event will be Justin's first birthday party. It is only a little over forty days away! I am doing a Winnie the Pooh theme like Brian and Sean had. I have to think about a date and get some invitations started!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's Like A...Burrito!

I could probably keep this blog going with just stories about Sean. He makes me laugh each and every day! And not just a 'boy my kid is cute' type of laugh. He gives me real honest to goodness humor! This morning he wanted a ketchup roll. One of his usual snacks - I have to put only ketchup on a hamburger roll. Sometimes he wants it closed and sometimes open - meaning on half or two. Today he decided that he wanted to change things up a bit and pulled out a hotdog roll. He said, "I want one only." I wasn't sure if this meant one roll or he wanted one half. So I asked, "Do you want it open or closed?" He said, "Open with two sides on top." Huh?

I picked up the roll and asked, "Do you want ketchup in the middle and then close it together?" He looked at me like I totally boring him with the details of something that he had just said. He did say something - it is just exactly what he meant that I was still having trouble with. Then he said, "Yes. In there and then you squish it and roll it. You know, it's like a burrito!" Where in the world he got the idea that ketchup on a hotdog roll was a like a burrito I will never know.

Maybe there is an analogy here - Ketchup is to roll, like burrito sauce is to tortilla. Is that stretching it too far? I guess it is possible that no one 'gets' him because his mind is working on a whole different level. I would love to find someone that understands how is mind works! But for now, I will just enjoy the laughs and not have to worry about running out of blog fodder!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Blog-aversary to me!

I started this blog one year ago today! I cannot believe it. I was forty-five days away from the birth of Justin and so excited to share our news! Now one year and 527 posts later, so much has happened! I love that I have all of my memories saved. I did keep a journal and baby books for Brian and Sean, but nothing as detailed as this blog! I think it will be so neat for the boys to be able to go back and relive things. I already love to go back and read older posts! Thanks for reading and thanks for the comments - they are all appreciated!

Monday, March 17, 2008

If You're Happy...

...and you know it, smile like Justin! He is getting more and more expressive as the days go by! I just love his smile! He really, really loves the bath! When he knows tubby time is coming he tries to dive right out of my arms head first into the tub! Splashing is one of his favorite things to do - he can just sit for fifteen minutes and splash his hands in the water. I love how the simplest things are so new and exciting to babies. They never take anything for granted or forget to notice details. Babies are truly amazing!

all smiles

showing off his teeth
big blue eyes
talkingooooh, those lashes!
what next?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Egg Hunting

We have been going to my friend Mary's Easter Egg Hunt since Brian was a baby. She lives on the closest thing to a farm that the boys have experienced. She has a horse and a pony and some goats and chickens and a rooster. There is a big field to run in and lots of outside toys and a swing set. The boys have so much fun - and a great excuse to get dirty!

Brian and Sean found a bunch of candy and toys - since he has a milk allergy, Sean gave all of his chocolate to Brian. I asked him, "What about Mom?" He said, "You're too old for Easter candy!" I beg to differ - how can you be too old for candy! After the hunt they ate hot dogs and cupcakes! Brian got a turn on the pony and Sean waited in line twice so he could get another turn. I was so proud of them! They also had a ton of fun with the huge bubble wands. It was a little chilly, but all in all a fun day. And they were so tired when we got home!

Justin was really good all day. He didn't participate in the candy hunt this year, but I am sure that he will have a full bag next year! He really liked watching all of the different animals. His favorite was the pony. I let him pet Ranger and he laughed and laughed and pulled on her hair. The piny still had her fuzzy winter coat and Justin loved to feel it and rub his face in it. I was laughing at him - he was totally amusing himself with pony fur!

Before the hunt
gathering treats
always a smile for Mom
checking out the loot
Justin looking at a goat
monkeying aroundBrian on the pony Sean on the ponyJustin laughing at the pony
bubble fun
more bubbles

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sean's New Jacket

Look closely at this first picture - do you see anything out of place? No, it is not Sean's huge muscles. Which by the way, he says are "from eating tons of green beans!" So, I guess the other veggies and proteins and soy milk etc. had nothing to do with his muscles. Once again he is onto a secret known only by him. So, if you want some big muscles like his, eat your green beans! Oh, and make sure to dunk them in ketchup like he does! Can you say yummy?

pump you up!

How about a view from the back? Do you now see anything wrong with this picture?


Yes, that is Justin's snowsuit that he is wearing as a jacket. And, no, for once he did not do this on purpose to be a funny guy! He had no idea that he wasn't wearing one of his jackets! He was almost out the front door to join his Dad and Brian and I told him that he needed a coat on! This, of course, caused a mini-meltdown and he threw himself on the floor. Mom doesn't play that game, so he got a time-out.

Boy was he mad to have to sit and wait even longer to join in the fun out front. So, when he was allowed to get up, he grabbed a jacket from the closet and was out the door before I could blink. I don't think he was paying attention when he grabbed this out of the closet - he was already outside in his mind before and now he was four minutes late from a time-out! I watched him grab the snowsuit and thought to myself that I didn't remember him having a coat that color. Then I realized what it was and grabbed my camera! I was laughing so hard that I could barely walk and tears were forming in my eyes! I followed him out the door and made sure that Brian and his Dad didn't say anything to make him take it off until I snapped a few photos.

At first he didn't want to pose and then I told him I thought his muscles were getting bigger, so I needed a new picture of his muscles from the front and back. Now he was more than happy to flash me a few smiles! Over the years, I have picked up a thing or two to trick the kids into doing what I want. Telling them that they have huge muscles goes a long way in this house. So does the racing thing. If they don't want to get dressed or clean up etc, I tell them I am timing them and want to see how fast they can do something. It works every time!-well almost every time because nothing is foolproof when kids are involved.

The Rebounder

Brian used a few gift cards and some birthday cash (and a little help from Mom and Dad) to buy a rebounder. One side is netting that will 'throw' the ball back to him. Now he can go outside and practice by himself when he wants to. The back side is a tight tarp with a window cut out in the middle. Inside the window is a net back to catch balls. The tarp side is to practice accuracy.

It took me forever to put it together - I might have finished a bit sooner if it were not for all the great 'help' that I received from Brian and Sean. Luckily Justin was sleeping or I might not have ever finished! It probably was designed for tow adults to work together to assemble it. But, Brian was working late and the boys were so excited. So, I had to at least try for them! Brian and Sean played for hours and were exhausted when we came inside! Anything that tires out the kids is a-okay in my book!

Brian throwing
great catch
Sean taking a bike break

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Seanii and the Wii

Sean is really, really good at bowling on the Wii. The funny thing is that he has no idea what he is doing. Most of the time he throws the ball backwards and makes all the spectators jump. Knowing him, I am not completely sure that he doesn't do this on purpose. He thinks it is so funny and even ten or twenty times later he is still giggling!

I tried to capture the different parts of his bowling technique. When you see the pictures, you will never know how this kid gets the ball to go anywhere even close to the pins. But he does - his high score is 203! He gets strikes all of the time and picks up spares left and right. He really likes the Power Bowl in the practice area and has earned himself a bronze medal in that!

I think the only thing crazier than his bowling is his golf game. He hits the ball so well; he just seems to have the touch. Well, that is when he is not trying to hit it into the water on purpose. This he also finds funny ten or twenty times later. It is fun for him when he is playing alone, but when you are playing against him and he takes ten shots into the water on every hole it can get pretty annoying pretty quickly!

Sean's new found game is another practice one - the shooting range. He laughs so hard at the alien ships trying to pick up the mii people that he can barely play the game. Even I laugh at this. If you have never seen it, you have to shoot alien space ships before they come and pick up people that are running around hysterical. When they catch the people, they pick them up by their heads and the people make the weirdest sound and the flounder around. As usual, it is never a boring time with Sean - even watching the same Wii game over and over!

Note the snow boots – maybe that is his secret weapon!

lining up the ball

start of swing
middle of swing
end of swing
cheering for himself
look at me!